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3. Firewall Architecture

There are lots of ways to structure your network to protect your systems using a firewall.

If you have a dedicated connections to the Internet through a router, you could plug the router directly into your firewall system. Or, you could go through a hub to provide for full access servers outside your firewall.

3.1 Dial-up Architecture

You may be using a dialup service like an ISDN line. In this case you might use a third network card to provide provide a filtered DMZ. This gives you full control over your Internet services and still separates them from your regular network.

                  __________
   _/\__/\_      |          |          _______________
  |        |     | Firewall |  (LAN)  |               |
 / Internet \----|  System  |--(HUB)--| Workstation/s |
 \_  _  _  _/    |__________|         |_______________|
   \/ \/ \/           |
                    (DMZ)
                    (HUB)

3.2 Single Router Architecture

If there is a router or cable modem between you and the Internet. If you own the router you could setup some hard filter rules in the router. If this router is owned by your ISP so you may not the have the needed controls. You can ask your ISP to put in filters.

                  _________           __________
   _/\__/\_      | Router  |         |          |          _______________
  |        |     |   or    |  (DMZ)  | Firewall |  (LAN)  |               |
 / Internet \----|Cable Mdm|--(HUB)--|  System  |--(HUB)--| Workstation/s |
 \_  _  _  _/    |_________|    |    |__________|         |_______________|
   \/ \/ \/                     |  
                            (Outside)    
                            (Server)

3.3 Firewall with Proxy Server

If you need to monitor where users of your network are going and your network is small, you can intergrate a proxy server into your firewall. ISP's some times do this to create interest list of their users to resell to marketing agencies.

                   __________
    _/\__/\_      | Proxy /  |          _______________
   |        |     | Firewall |  (LAN)  |               |
  / Internet \----|  System  |--(HUB)--| Workstation/s |
  \_  _  _  _/    |__________|         |_______________|
    \/ \/ \/  

You can put the proxy server on your LAN as will. In this case the firewall should have rules to only allow the proxy server to connect to the Internet for the services it is providing. This way the users can get to the Internet only through the proxy.

                  __________
   _/\__/\_      |          |          _______________
  |        |     | Firewall |  (LAN)  |               |
 / Internet \----|  System  |--(HUB)--| Workstation/s |
 \_  _  _  _/    |__________|    |    |_______________|
   \/ \/ \/                      |     ______________
                                 |    |              |
                                 +----| Proxy Server |
                                      |______________|

3.4 Redundent Internet Configuration

If you are going to run a service like YAHOO or maybe SlashDot you may want to make your system by using redundant routers and firewalls. (Check out the High Availability HowTo.)

By using a round-robin DNS techniques to provide access to multipule web servers from one URL and multiple ISP's, routers and firewalls using High Avaibility technics you can create a 100% uptime service.

   _/\__/\_                                     _/\__/\_  
  |        |                                   |        | 
 /  ISP #1  \______                 (WAN)_____/ Partners \
 \_  _  _  _/      |                (HUB)     \_  _  _  _/
   \/ \/ \/        |               ___|____     \/ \/ \/  
                 __|___           |_______ |
   _/\__/\_     |_____ |         |Firewall||          ______
  |        |   |      ||  (DMZ)  | System ||  (LAN)  |      |
 /  ISP #2  \--|Router||--(HUB)--|  (VPN) ||--(HUB)--| WS/s |
 \_  _  _  _/  |______|     |    |________|     |    |______|
   \/ \/ \/                 |         |         |     ______
          |             (Outside)  (Shared)     |    |      |
  ------  |             (Server)   (Server)     +----|Proxy |
 | WS/s | |                                          |______|
 | VPN  |-+
 |______|

It is easy to let your network get out of hand. Keep control of every connection. It only takes a user with a modem to compromise your LAN.


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